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Throughout these four years, a total of brand new aircraft were ordered, consisting of narrow-body and wide-body, short-haul and long-haul alike. These aircraft were brought in not only as supplements to the current fleet but also as replacements. Delta also seeks to refurbish many of their existing aircraft, adding DeltaOne Suites to their widebodies excluding the , and currently completing interior renewals of their A aircraft. However, following the heated Boeing vs. Bombardier spat that aroused after Delta decided to purchase the CSeries instead of the , replacing the venerable Maddog might be indefinitely postponed.

While these soon-to-be rare and sparse aircraft will undoubtedly be missed by passengers and aviation enthusiasts alike, it can undoubtedly be said that Delta is in the middle of a huge fleet revival, one that is only just beginning. However, one thing is sure: A young aspiring AvGeek and writer, Ryan has been deeply involved in the aviation world for years. A hopeful pilot and journalist, Ryan is based in Orlando, Florida, and has a notable soft spot for flying and Dreamliners.

On 15 June Voris led a trio of Grumman F6F-5 Hellcats , specially modified to reduce weight and painted sea blue with gold leaf trim, through their inaugural minute-long performance at their Florida home base, Naval Air Station Jacksonville. This aircraft was later painted yellow and dubbed the "Beetle Bomb".

This aircraft is said to have been inspired by one of the Spike Jones ' Murdering the Classics series of musical satires, set to the tune in part of the William Tell Overture as a thoroughbred horse race scene, with "Beetle Bomb" being the "trailing horse" in the lyrics. The team thrilled spectators with low-flying maneuvers performed in tight formations, and according to Voris by "keeping something in front of the crowds at all times.

My objective was to beat the Army Air Corps. If we did that, we'd get all the other side issues. I felt that if we weren't the best, it would be my naval career. In May , flight leader Lt. Bob Clarke replaced Butch Voris as the leader of the team and introduced the famous Diamond Formation, now considered the Blue Angels' trademark. In , the team acquired a Douglas R4D Skytrain for logistics to and from show sites. The Blues transitioned to the straight-wing Grumman Grumman F9F-2 Panther on 13 July , wherein the F8F-1 "Beetle Bomb" was relegated to solo aerobatics before the main show, until it crashed on takeoff at a training show in Pensacola in The "Blues" continued to perform nationwide until the start of the Korean War in , when due to a shortage of pilots, and no planes were available the team was disbanded and its members were ordered to combat duty.

Voris was again tasked with assembling the team he was the first of only two commanding officers to lead them twice. In August , "Blues" leader LCDR Ray Hawkins became the first naval aviator to survive an ejection at supersonic speeds when his F9F-6 became uncontrollable on a cross-country flight. In September , the team added a sixth aircraft to the flight demonstration in the Opposing Solo position, and gave its first performance outside the United States at the International Air Exposition in Toronto, Ontario , Canada.

It also upgraded its logistics aircraft to the Douglas R5D Skymaster. For the show season, the Blue Angels transitioned to the supersonic Grumman F11F-1 Tiger , first flying the short-nosed, and then the long-nosed versions. The first Six-Plane Delta Maneuvers were added in the season. In , the Blue Angels conducted a Caribbean island tour, flying at five sites.

Later that year, they embarked on a European tour to a dozen sites, including the Paris Air Show , where they were the only team to receive a standing ovation.

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The Blues toured Europe again in touring six sites. That year they also upgraded to the Lockheed C Super Constellation for logistics. The Blues received their first U. An all-Marine crew manned it.

Blue Angels - Wikipedia

That year, they went on their first South American tour. This reorganization permitted the establishment of a commanding officer the flight leader , added support officers, and further redefined the squadron's mission emphasizing the support of recruiting efforts. Commander Tony Less was the squadron's first official commanding officer. The power and aerodynamics of the Hornet allows them to perform a slow, high angle of attack "tail sitting" maneuver, and to fly a "dirty" landing gear down formation loop. In the Blue Angels deployed for a month-long European tour, their first in 19 years, conducting shows in Sweden, Finland, Russia first foreign flight demonstration team to perform there , Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

In , the Blue Angels marked their 60th year of performing. The change was because one pilot and another officer in the organization had been removed from duty for engaging in an "inappropriate relationship". The Navy stated that one of the individuals was a man and the other a woman, one a Marine and the other from the Navy, and that Rear Admiral Mark Guadagnini, chief of Naval air training, was reviewing the situation. A spokesman for the team would not confirm the identity of the pilot removed from the team. Clint Harris and the administrative officer, Navy Lt.

On 22 May , the Blue Angels were performing at the Lynchburg Regional Airshow in Lynchburg , Virginia, when the Diamond formation flew the Barrel Roll Break maneuver at an altitude that was lower than the required minimum altitude. The next day, the Blue Angels announced that they were initiating a safety stand-down, canceling their upcoming Naval Academy Airshow and returning to their home base in Pensacola, Florida, for additional training and airshow practice.

On 1 March , the U. Navy announced that it was cancelling remaining performances after 1 April due to sequestration budget constraints. Air Force's Thunderbirds would resume appearing at air shows starting in , although the number of flyovers will continue to be severely reduced. In July , Marine Corps Capt.

Katie Higgins, 27, became the first female pilot to join the Blue Angels. The "Blues" have flown eight different demonstration aircraft and five support aircraft models: During its history, 27 Blue Angels pilots have been killed in air show or training accidents. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 19 September For other uses, see Blue Angels disambiguation. Today is a very special and memorable day in your military career that will remain with you throughout your lifetime.

You have survived the ultimate test of your peers and have proven to be completely deserving to wear the crest of the U. The prestige of wearing the Blue Angels uniform carries with it an extraordinary honor — one that reflects not only on you as an individual, but on your teammates and the entire squadron. To the crowds at the air shows and to the public at hospitals and schools nationwide, you are a symbol of the Navy and Marine Corps' finest. You bring pride, hope and a promise for tomorrow's Navy and Marine Corps in the smiles and handshakes of today's youth.

Remember today as the day you became a Blue Angel; look around at your teammates and commit this special bond to memory. Welcome to the team. The engine had been developed as the sustainer engine for the Atlas missile when the requirement was to launch a kg thermonuclear warhead over an intercontinental range.


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When it became apparent that the warhead could be reduced to less than half that weight, the Atlas was downsized, and the 68 metric ton thrust sustainer motor was no longer required. Douglas flew a first prototype only thirteen months after go-ahead. After a few years the Thors were withdrawn from Britain and the Jupiters from Turkey as part of the secret codicil of Kennedy's deal to end the Cuban Missile Crisis. A few continued in an offensive military role as a nuclear-tipped anti-satellite system, based on Johnson Atoll in the Pacific, until the end of the early 's.

Surplus Thors were used for a variety of suborbital re-entry vehicle tests. After the Sputnik shock, all available assets were pressed into service. Thor was developed into a workhorse for the space program. The Able stage developed for the Vanguard project was mated to the Thor. A fundamental problem was that the thrust to weight ratio of the basic vehicle left little margin for growth or larger upper stages. This was solved by using Castor solid rockets strapped to the base of the vehicle to increase the lift-off thrust.

Almost by accident rather than design, Thor developed into the Delta, the standard American medium-lift launcher, continually evolving through the use of more and larger strap-on boosters, a cylindrical and stretched core, and enlarged upper stages. The original Aerojet Able upper stage evolved into the Delta. After going through a bewildering myriad of military versions it emerged as the standardized, reliable and economical Delta commercial satellite launch vehicle by the mid's.

Op-Ed: Delta’s Imminent, Efficient Fleet Rejuvenation

Improved Delta versions continued in production into the next millennium, with nearly 1, airframes completed, and the end of production announced yet again in The innumerable 'deaths' and resurrections of the Delta are described in Aerojet - The Creative Company , These vehicles and their powerplants are discussed above as part of the Able family. The first NASA contracts for these upper stages were in , deliveries began in , and numerous additional contracts followed.

The first launch using this configuration occurred on May 13, and, according to one source on NASA history, did not reach orbit because of a malfunction in the Aerojet stage. Aerojet's findings indicate that it never got the signal to fire.

David Spriggs Delta Blue Squadron: America's First Space Fleet www.deltabluesquadron.com

The second attempt on August 12, was successful, and these engines were used until years later when the more powerful Air Force Delta second stage ablative engines became available. At this point the Air Force, realizing the need for a larger space launch capability separate from the civilian efforts, selected the concept of using both stages of Titan II with various third and fourth stages, and later an array of zero stages. In very general terms, they retained the Agena for Thor and Atlas upper stages, and sought a new larger and simpler third stage, which was called Transtage.

Agena was, however, regularly used on both Thor and Titan lower stages, and was often favored because it was a pump fed unit and was much lighter. The desirability of low chamber pressure, ablative chambers and a pressurized propellant feed system had been demonstrated in Vanguard, Hydra, and Ablestar, which led to the selection for Titan of the Transtage configuration using two chambers similar to, but larger than Ablestar. The resulting improved Delta launch vehicle underwent a bewildering succession of changes in configuration and performance some incremental and some extensive which is continuing to this day.

All three stages have undergone upratings and replacements with more powerful engines, and there has been a succession of increasing numbers and sizes of strap-on solid propellant rocket zero stages. This unit also underwent several modifications, ending up with a thrust of 10, lbf, and a variety of tank sizes. A throttling variable thrust version was developed for a Navy application, and the Delta family could be generally distinguished from Transtage engines by the fact that the Delta gimbal point was at the head end above the valve assembly , while the Transtage engines in addition to being smaller gimbaled at the plane of the nozzle throat.

In the early s the expendable launch business was going quite well technically, but changes to reduce cost and increase payload were examined continuously. One such study by Aerojet explored the concept of using a single barrel of the LR engine. This would be used to improve Delta performance, but sufficient development funds were not available and the shuttle was receiving all the emphasis, so the idea died. Another of these studies involved the use of liquid boosters in place of the nine solid boosters then attached to the Thor as a zero stage.

The tanks would use thin metal liners to ensure freedom from leakage - as is still required today for high pressure, light weight filament wound vessels. Aerojet's solid rocket division had done some very encouraging work on high performance solid rocket engine chambers of this same type, and the prices were very attractive. The first was in October when their hosts kept slipping out of the meeting to check their stocks - this was the day the stock market fell drastically.

No decisions were made that day. The second meeting almost didn't start. When the Aerojet contingent arrived, there was no one in the building because of an earthquake.